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The Burbs and the Bees: Improving Native Bee Habitat in the Suburban Landscape

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Title: The Burbs and the Bees: Improving Native Bee Habitat in the Suburban Landscape
Author: O'Hara, Ben
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Landscape Architecture
Advisor: Landman, Karen
Abstract: As pressures of a growing population take their toll on our environment, efforts must be made to facilitate sustainable behaviours at the neighbourhood scale. Science is demonstrating that the abundance and diversity of native bees is declining in many locales around the world. One of the major drivers of this decline is the loss and fragmentation of habitat, caused in part by suburban expansion. This emerging landscape is dominated by a garden typology not beneficial to bee populations. Using the principles and theories of Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) and a survey of Guelph gardeners and homeowners, effective program strategies are outlined for implementation by Pollination Guelph, and target the behaviours and barriers associated with activities that negatively impact native bees. A CBSM based program will encourage bee-friendly gardening, promote the aggregate changes needed to alter the individuals gardening behaviours, and potentially increase native bee populations in the suburban neighbourhoods of Guelph.
Date: 2012-04
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